Home Prices Could Be Shifting Away From Sellers

Amid a seasonal slowdown in the housing market this fall came possible signs that sellers might have to take their feet off the gas pedal.

Home sales in the Park Cities and Preston Hollow declined sharply in September compared to June, for example, and prices showed a modest drop as well, according to statistics from the North Texas Real Estate Information System.

“I think we’re seeing a little bit of a market adjustment. I don’t think it’s a downturn,” said Michelle Wood, an agent with Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty. “I’m still seeing a busy market.”

Although the numbers are in line with past seasonal trends, they’re still striking. Sales in the Park Cities dropped by more than 50 percent from summer to fall, and almost as much in Preston Hollow.

So it makes sense that as fewer people are buying, inventory is on the rise. The number of local active listings reached their 2015 peak during September, and available properties are spending longer on the market, especially in the Park Cities.

“We’re starting to see a lot of reductions,” Wood said. “It’s a great time of year to buy.”

But does this signal a more widespread issue? Some industry analysts expected the Dallas market to stabilize this year after an extended period of volatility that favored sellers to an exaggerated degree.

Wood said that sellers can still get good value, but they might not be able to take advantage of the market as they’ve done previously.

“Properties that are priced right are moving quickly,” Wood said. “Seller expectations on price got a little out of line with reality, so now we’re seeing those properties sit that were overpriced.”

She said an influx of new construction is also having an impact on the health of the market.

“It’s making the houses that are not new have to compete a little harder,” Wood said. “It’s a great time to list your house, but it’s good to make it as show-ready as possible and to price it correctly.”

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